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Induction Cooker Safety

Ronnie Dauber

One of the latest technology developments in the kitchen is the induction cooker, a specialty stove top burner. Instead of employing a heating coil or a gas heating element for energy, magnetic energy transfers from the burner to the pot, causing the pot to heat up without warming the burner itself. Besides the instant heat, lower cost for energy and the fast and easy clean-up, there are some benefits that beat them all: the many safety features.

Reduction in Kitchen Fires

Induction cookers have different safety requirements than gas or electric burners.

According to the U.S. National Fire Data Center, 84 percent of all fire-related deaths to civilians in 2008 took place inside the home. Of those, 90 percent started in the kitchen.

The greatest safety feature of the induction cooker is that it will reduce the number of fires that are caused by the stove top elements to zero. This is because the element does not get hot, so nothing dropped or spilled on the element can burn. The only heat will be in the pot that sits on the induction cooker.

Temperature Controls

Grease fires cause most kitchen fires. When oil in a pot overheats, it can start a water-resistant fire. With an induction cooker, the temperature change is instant, so when the element is turned off, the connection response is immediate and the pot is no longer heated.

When the pot is being heated, the cooker can be set for a specific temperature, which will never change and which is reached much more quickly than with a traditional stove top. Thus, oil in the pot cannot get any hotter than the connection is set for, and it's not necessary to set the element to max to get the pot contents hot quickly.

Cold to the Touch

When you're busy in the kitchen, it's very easy to accidentally touch a burner, which can cause minor to serious burns. This risk is especially great for children, who can reach up onto the stove without being able to see the heat source. Since the induction cooker elements never get hot, accidental contact during cooking will not cause injury.

Plastic Utensils

With the induction cooker, plastic utensils will not melt due to being close to a head source such as a gas flame or electric coil. Since neither the stove top nor the elements ever get hot, you can use plastic or decorative utensils that are a hazard with regular stove top units.

Safety Precautions

With so many good things to make the induction cooker an invaluable application to the kitchen, it can be hard to remember that there are still safety precautions to take. Likely, one of the greatest safety hazards from induction cookers is getting burned from the pots. Since the burners never get hot, it is easy to forget that the pots themselves are hot and touch them or grab them without hand protection.

Also, in the absence of a bright red burner or steady stream of smelly gas, you can forget to turn the induction element off. If nothing is on the burner, there is no immediate danger. However, many home cooks are in the habit of returning the pot to the burner with the intention of emptying out leftovers later. Once the pot touches the burner, the immediate heat will return, burning the contents over a period of time and damaging the pot.